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Walking in his shoes can't be easy

October 20, 2015 07:58 IST
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A 19-year-old boy from Venezuela has broken the Guinness World Record for the largest feet.

The shoes of Jeison Rodriguez, the living person with the largest feet in the world, placed next to the shoes of his nephew at his house in Maracay, Venezuela. Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/ Reuters

With a right foot that measures 1 feet 3.79 inches and a left that comes up at 1 feet 3.59 inches, Jeison Orlando Rodriguez Hernandez overtook the previous record holder and world's tallest man, Turkish farmer Sultan Kosen.

Jeison Rodriguez holds the Guinness World Record for the largest feet, with his right foot measuring at 1 feet 3.79 inches. Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/ Reuters

Although Kosen was taller than Rodriguez, towering at a massive 8 feet 3 inches to Rodriguez’s 7 feet 2.61 inch height, the latter had the bigger shoe size.

Jeison holds his niece Osmariel with the help of his foot. Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/ Reuters

For Jeison, his massive feet were both a blessing and a curse. Although his height made him better suited to playing basketball but it also made him a target for vicious bullying during his youth.

Jeison’s left foot measures at 1 feet 3.59 inches. Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/ Reuters

"I used to come home from school after they bullied me and I suffered a lot of discrimination. They use to say things and hit me. I used to come home traumatised, and I liked studying, I still do -- but when I went to class I wanted my mum to stay because I knew that come break time they would treat me like a toy," Jeison said.

Jeison sits in front of his nephew at his house in Maracay, Venezuela. Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/ Reuters

The youngest of four children, Jeison grew at a normal rate until he reached age 10, when he witnessed a sudden jump in height. 

A 30 cm ruler is seen next to Jeison’s feet. Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/ Reuters

Jeison began to battle strong headaches and pain across his joints, leading his parents to seek medical help.

Jeison poses for a picture with his older brother Wilmer, 24, outside their house. Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/ Reuters

"They sent him to do a scan and that is when they realised Jeison suffered from an overactive pituitary. We all have that gland, but he had premature growth which sped up his growth," said Jeison’s mother, Amalia.

Jeison poses for a photograph with his mother Amalia (R), his brother Erick, 21, and his nephews at their house in Venezuela. Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/ Reuters

Jeison came to the notice of Guinness World Records through a German specialist shoemaker, Georg Wessels, who travelled to Maracay in the west of Venezuela and presented Jeison's measurements to the competition. 

Jeison defeated Turkey’s Sultan Kosen as the world record holder for the man with the largest feet. Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/ Reuters

Before Wessels, however, Rodriguez and his family had to improvise.

Jeison bows his head to go through the door while walking out of his house. Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/ Reuters

“Since I was 14 they made my shoes out of trousers material, which only lasted two or three weeks, so sometimes I would go barefoot. These are the sorts of things I would go through. I would look at other people and say, ‘how I would like a little pair of shoes’,” said Rodriguez.

Jeison poses for a picture at his home. Photograph: Carlos Garcia Rawlins/ Reuters

Although he’s seen a sudden the influx of fame, Jeison says he wants to return to studying. His aim is to learn how to bake and to help people suffering from depression.

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